Hulu’s Owners Decide Not To Sell

Hulu’s owners have decided against auctioning off the online video service after inviting bids four months ago, saying the site’s strategic value outweighed any monetary benefits of a sale.

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“We have terminated the sale process and look forward to working together to continue mapping out its path,” owners News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), and Providence Equity Partners said Thursday in a statement. “Hulu holds a unique and compelling strategic value to its owners.”

NBC Universal is another of Hulu’s co-owners, but was required to give up oversight when it was acquired by Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA).

In keeping the site, the media companies will be able to exercise a higher level of control over how their shows are distributed online and can use the service to steer viewers to their networks, Fox, NBC, and ABC. With rival Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) losing subscribers over price increases, Hulu is positioned to win users.

Unlike Netflix, Hulu offers both free, ad-supported service, and paid, ad-free services. The $7.99-a-month Hulu Plus had over 1 million subscribers as of October 5, according to CEO Jason Kilar. Hulu also recently expanded to Japan and has added a number of viewing devices, including those operating on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android software.

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Google, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) were among the companies submitting offers for the streaming service, which was put up for sale in June.